St. Andrew's School, DE - Review #11

Read more details about St. Andrew's School, DE on their 2019-20 profile page.
St. Andrew's School, DE
5

About the Author:

College EnrolledHarvard College
Home Town, State Alexandria, VA
Years Attended Boarding School2
Activities During Boarding SchoolVarsity Swimming (Captain), Varsity Lacrosse, Varsity Field Hockey, Yearbook (Editor), Gay/Straight Alliance (Administrative Board), Orchestra, Literary Magazine, Ceramics.

Reflections and Advice:

1.) What do you think makes your school unique relative to other boarding schools?
There is a focus at St. Andrew's on cultivating not only students' intellect but also their willingness to engage in cultural, moral, and globally relevant issues. The constant focus on discussion, debate, and education outside of the classroom is unparalleled. School-wide events like the AIDS walk, environmental service days, and guest lectures make this possible. These events raise discussion among the students and allow them to both find the issues that they are passionate about and have the confidence to pursue those issues further.Additionally, the smaller size allows for more class discussion, closer student-teacher relationships, and closer relationships between the students themselves. Each student receives individual attention from the faculty, and every student is a crucial participant of the rigorous educational environment in and out of the classroom.
2.) What was the best thing that happened to you in boarding school?
Entering St. Andrew's as a junior, I was nervous that I would never become fully immersed in its culture or that I would fail academically, athletically, and otherwise. The rigorous academic environment, the welcoming nature of the school, and the numerous opportunities available allowed me to jump right in and become a part of St. Andrew's culture. Challenging myself to move away from home and take on this experience after 11 years at the same school (K-10) enabled me to recognize the benefits that St. Andrew's education has to offer and prove to me that I could succeed in a new environment, an important lesson before entering college.
3.) What might you have done differently during your boarding school experience?
For kids going to boarding school: don't be afraid to try new things or reach out to new people (even your teachers!), keep an open mind, and remember to learn lessons during your tougher times.
4.) What did you like most about your school?
The smaller size, and the focus on education outside of the classroom.
5.) Do you have any final words of wisdom for visiting or incoming students to your school?
St. Andrew's is a beautiful campus! Enjoy the pond, the cornfields, and the beautiful school buildings!

Academics:

1.) Describe the academics at your school - what did you like most about it?
The focus of St. Andrew's academics was never just about the material itself. Students are always challenged to learn the material, form an opinion, and then effectively present their opinions and thoughts on the material.There is never anything formulaic about the teaching at St. Andrew's. Every class period is different and the teachers put a lot of work into finding new and different ways to allow the students to interact with course material. These methods can range from in-class experiments, creative multimedia projects, debates, short essays, and collaborative group work. Experiencing course materials in these ways teaches the students not only the material but also how to think critically about material, an important skill that they will be able to utilize throughout their lives. This makes for a workload that is rigorous, but interesting, as there is never simple busy work assigned.The teachers are incredibly supportive of the students and always make time to meet with each student individually and attend to their particular needs, concerns, and interests.

Athletics:

1.) Describe the athletics at your school - what did you like most about it?
St. Andrew's athletic program is run by coaches who love their sports and want the best possible experience for their students. There are ample fields and training spaces available for every team (especially now with the recently completed new athletic complex). As a former member and captain of the swim team, I was especially impressed by St. Andrew's pool facility which is both aesthetically pleasing and a great competitive training space.Further, the schedule at St. Andrew's, with half-days on Tuesdays, allows for the scheduling of Tuesday athletic competitions at earlier times, so as not to interfere with the academic schedule or study hall. With so many fields, and proximity to Noxontown pond, St. Andrew's also offers a plethora of opportunity for recreational sports or training outside of practice.Every team is very close-knit and supportive of all members, creating a great foundation for success in athletic competition. Additionally, anyone interested in playing a sport is given the opportunity, at least at a Junior Varsity or training team level.

Art, Music, and Theatre:

1.) Describe the arts program at your school - what did you like most about it?
St. Andrew's offers a wide variety of arts programs including painting, drawing, ceramics, photography, orchestra, theater, a cappella, musical theater, choral singing, and more. I participated in the ceramics classes which allowed me a wide range of materials and clays to experiment with and learn about, and continual access to pottery wheels and clay materials even outside of class time.The orchestra program is a larger program and offers instructions to students of all levels of experience, and provides the opportunity for private lessons if preferred.

Extracurricular Opportunities:

1.) Describe the extracurriculars offered at your school - what did you like most about it?
Being at boarding school makes it easy to participate in (or at least learn about) any and every extracurricular activity that interests you. Meetings are scheduled at times that will not interfere with classes, sports practice, or mealtimes. The extracurricular environment is such that every person of the group is truly involved and interested in the group's subject matter or purpose. Every person is given their own responsibilities, and each group continually works to accomplish their goals rather than going through the motions or assigning busy work.There are a wide variety of extracurriculars available, and ever the opportunity to create new activities should a student so choose. Activities range from recreational groups to student publications, to environmental initiatives, or public service groups, so there is bound to be something of interest to everyone.

Dorm Life:

1.) Describe the dorm life in your school - what did you like most about it?
Dorm life is very close. Students spend a lot of time with the people in their dorms, usually by choice, and there is a very open and welcoming environment throughout the dorms. It is a very inclusive environment, and there are consistently scheduled dorm-wide activities (TV show watching, gingerbread house making, cookie-eating) that bring everyone together to socialize.While freshmen and new students are assigned rooms, returning students are able to choose their roommates. Dorm room assignments are randomized, but students of the same grade level are all kept close together. The seniors are distributed among all of the dorms to serve as Residential Leaders and general advisors to the younger students. This allows for more inter-class interaction, and a kind of mentorship for students who find it easier to seek advice from their peers.

Dining:

1.) Describe the dining arrangements at your school.
There are family style lunches with assigned seating that rotates every three weeks. This allows for different students to take responsibility for serving the table, and the chance for different students and faculty of all grades and subject matters to sit together. Further, this creates a dining room environment where every student has a group to sit with and the chance to meet different people.Other meals are served without assigned seating, making for a more casual meal environment that students can enjoy on their own time. During these meals students in the same grade usually sit together in a very inclusive manner.

Social and Town Life:

1.) Describe the school's town and surrounding area.
Students stay on St. Andrew's campus most of the time, as students are not allowed cars. On weekends, students can take excursions into town to go out for meals, see movies, or run errands.
2.) Describe the social life at your school - what did you like most about it?
Students are very welcoming at St. Andrew's and the small size of the school means that everyone knows each other. The variety of activities that bring students together from classes, mealtimes, sports teams, extracurriculars, and dorm life means that everyone finds their niche, and there are few lonely moments.

Daily Schedule:

Weekday
7:45 AMsign in/breakfast
8:15 AMfirst class starts
12:00 AMlunch
1:00 PMclasses
3:30 PMend of last class
4:00 PMsports practice starts
6:00 PMsports practice ends
6:00 PMdinner
7:00 PMextracurriculars
8:00 PMstudy hall till 10pm
Weekend
9:00 AMwake up, do some homework/reading
11:00 AMchapel
12:00 AMSunday brunch
2:00 PMhangout with friends (watch movie, sit by the pond)
6:00 PMdinner
8:00 PMstudy hall till 10
10:00 PMdorm cleanup, ready for bed
11:00 PMhang out with friends/ lights out
Read more details about St. Andrew's School, DE on their 2019-20 profile page.

Alumni Reviews
  Review School

  • Review Description
  • Dartmouth
    St. Andrews not only has the most incredible ethos but uses that ethos among the student body to do good. The small student population allows no one to slip under the cracks, and it’s the. . .
  • Davidson College
    I think that the small student body and close knit community of St. Andrew's makes it very unique. With a student body of only about 300 students, you know everyone's name and they know yours. . .
  • Johns Hopkins University
    St. Andrew's is such a unique place, and it would be impossible to choose just one thing that separates St. Andrew's from any other boarding school. The most obvious difference is probably that St. . .
  • Show more reviews (10 reviews)
Recent Articles
The quality of a summer camp depends very much on the quality and experience of the folks running it. When you select a summer program run by a boarding school, you are getting a program with experienced, well-organized professionals at the helm. More here.
We explore the reasons why you should send your child to boarding school
The International Baccalaureate® Diploma Programme offers a rigorous, disciplined approach to college preparation studies. We answer common questions about the IB.